An "Ugly" Tale: Galvin Middle School Presents Honk!
Don’t write someone off just because they’re a little different. They just might surprise you.
That was the timeless message behind Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fable, The Ugly Duckling. And it will be brought to life again in a whole new way on the Galvin stage this week, when the Middle School presents Honk!, the musical adaptation of the ugly duckling story.
Galvin teacher Deanna Leedy, who is directing the student production, said she chose the musical because it’s fun and entertaining, with a lot of opportunities to showcase student talent, but also because it directly supports the school’s anti-bullying efforts.
“The story of Honk! really fit with the message we’re trying to send students about bullying,” said Leedy. “Everyone can relate to feeling different at one time in their life, and this really portrays how the main character Ugly was pushed out of his nest and out of a family, just because he was different and didn’t really fit in. I think students need to think about that.”
Eighth-grader Emily Sheeran, who plays Ugly, said one of Honk’s most powerful messages is reflected in a line she sings in the song “Different,” early in the show: “Different isn’t bad… Different is just, well...different.” But Sheeran also said Honk! takes the message a step further, beyond just tolerating difference, to celebrating it.
“The message is that it’s what’s different about us that makes us special,” said Sheeran. “I think anyone can find something unique about themselves to like.”
Of course, in the end the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan, and Leedy said that hope, that things will get better, is something that resonates with everyone, but especially middle schoolers.
And eighth-grader Victoria Smith, who plays Ugly’s mother Ida, said her character’s unconditional love for Ugly also sends another important message that it’s easy for kids to lose sight of: “No matter who you are or what you look like, there’s at least one person out there who knows you’re special,” said Smith.
Honk! will be performed Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Galvin Auditorium, 525 Main St., Wakefield. Tickets are $8 general admission and $5 for students and seniors, and will be available at the door.
The cast of Honk! includes Melissa Ansaldi, Brandon Baeringer, Jacqueline Bentubo, Lindsay Bergholtz, Samuel Bianchet-David, Sam Cardoza, Zachary Carito, Michaela Chan, Emily Cierpial, Sarah Collins, Shay Considine, Sara Custodio, Emma Dannenberg, Caroline DeMasi, Katherine DiGuardia, Hannah DiTonno, Abby Drinkwater, Suzanne Fairfield, Hannah Filleul, Shawn Flanagan, Shannon Foley, Janet Francis, Emma Hodzic, Patricia Hubbard, Isabella Kehoe, Emma Lowry, Michael Manning, Kevin Manning, Lauren Mercer, Katie Murphy, Amanda O’Brien, Jennifer O’Connell, Nico Omenetto, Allie Patch, Joe Penta, Samantha Prosperi, Nathan Prosperi, Lily Power, Kristen
Scheeler, Lily Schermerhorn, Emily Sheeran, Victoria Smith, Ava Spies, Meg Sullivan, Jennifer Synan, Ava Vaughan, Sebastian Wallace, Mikayla White, Mary Kate Williams, Maddie Williams and Samantha Yandell.
The student stage crew consists of Lizzie Bishop, Virginia Bry, Skyler Burns, Shoshanna Cohen, Jessica Conley, Sophia Cresta, Olivia Dannenberg, Mariah D'Agost, Julie Finan, Francesca Frate, Bridgit Glendye, Jaime Greatorex, Molly Kavanaugh. Mike Lanzarone, Morgan Leger, Ariana Margolis, Laura McGovern, Trevor Noble, Mason Parece, Brianna Randazza, Juliana Simons, Sam Simpson and Gabrielle White.